1 year, 25 days

….since my last blog post.

I’ve realized that I’ve been spending so much time on various projects that taking the time to write about said projects just hasn’t been a thing that’s going to happen.

Then I was listening to Dennis Tobenski’s Music Publishing Podcast the other week and he said that he liked to use his blog as more of a composition journal, and make tags for whatever pieces he’s writing about writing, then when he’s done click the tag and he’s got a nice little archive of the process of writing. That seems like a super cool idea, so I’m going to attempt to start it with the piece I’m writing now for HOCKET, entitled Mirror Smasher. The title is a nod to my friend Alex Miller‘s piece Clock Smasher, which will be premiered on the same concert on November 5.

So let’s talk Mirror Smasher! It’s for four hands and electronics, and began as a kind of “can I write a piece that is the same forwards and backwards, and also has the two players in mirror inversion,” and then I got the idea to add electronics (sampled piano, played in reverse, and then lots of delays and slicing). Over time I’ve gotten a bit looser about the mirror inversion and such, but started playing with taking a figure (B G C D E F#, a translation of the word H O C K E T) and imagining what it would like like in a broken mirror. So it turns into snippets of itself, gets backwards and forwards and upside down, all kinds of fun like that.

Then I plugged in one of the bass voices to my synth, and am kinda flipping out over the result:

Neat, right? That structure is kinda improvised at the moment, but I aim to carve some kind of symmetrical something into it. Also, it feels like the beginning of a much much longer piece. The November 5 version will be like 7 – 9 minutes long, but I think we’re talking about some half hour giant here whenever I hear it.

So – onward!

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All material copyright Nick Norton unless otherwise noted.